Early potatoes

If you plant a few potatoes now it won't be long before you'll have your own crop of new potatoes. Those grown in your own garden have lots more flavour than most supermarket spuds

New potatoes
Season
Spring
Name

Early potatoes

Common Name
New potatoes
Description

Plant early potatoes towards the end of this month and you will be able to dig up and cook really delicious potatoes in late June and July.


Growing Tips

You will need:

  • ‘Chitted’ potatoes (more about chitting potatoes) or unsprouted tubers
  • Spade
  • Rake
  • Plant label
  • Gardening gloves

What to do:

  1. The ‘chitted’ potatoes are ready for planting when the sprouts are about 2cm long and they can be planted outside towards the end of March.
  2. Plant either in a drill or in individual holes in the soil, 7–15cm deep, with the sprouts pointing upwards and cover with at least 2.5cm of soil.
  3. Space early potatoes as close as 30–38cm between the tubers, and 38–50cm between the rows. However, a wider row spacing of 50–60cm makes ‘earthing up’ much easier and is recommended if you have the space.
  4. They can also be grown easily in pots, tubs and dustbins if there are drainage holes.

Maintenance:

When there are about 20–30cm of growth above the soil, you will need to ‘earth up’. This is when the soil is drawn up around the stems to prevent tubers being pushed to the surface and turning green in the light, making them inedible. The soil should be drawn up to leave 10cm of leaves exposed to the light and this should be done on a regular basis.